I came upon a story that described flocks of sheep grazing in the country, with no fences around them. Their shepherds and dogs were the ones keeping them safe by day and by night. But if the little lambs, the youngest sheep, were sleeping soundly and were suddenly awakened by a noise, they would jump up, let out loud bleats, then follow anything that was moving close to them. Disoriented.
Most times that instinct worked for their good because it allowed them to keep up with their mothers and the rest of the herd. But if the motion was from a predator, following the predator could very well cost them their lives! As they get older, lambs learn to follow their mother’s and their shepherd’s voices. The picture of the shepherd reminds me of Isaiah 40’s description:
He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms and carry them in his bosom and gently lead the mother sheep.
Perhaps the shepherd carried the little lambs in his arms, close to his heart because they were so vulnerable. Many times we respond to a situation with a knee-jerk, bleating reaction. We spend money without counting the cost (remember Christmas?); we fall in love with externals without looking within, need I go on?
Rather than reacting like a startled lamb, following anything that moves, take a moment to listen to our Shepherd’s voice and commit to following Him. When you feel lost or disoriented, Jesus’ arms are the safest place to be!
I am the Good Shepherd. I know My own, and My own know me…
they will listen to My voice.
So there will be one flock, one shepherd.
John 10:14, 16
Join us on Sunday as we conclude our All Things New sermon series by looking at New Commitment: Are Ye Able? Are you able to follow Jesus wholeheartedly and encourage others to do the same? Let’s talk about it on Sunday. I hope to see you there!
Book Drive is going strong! Our service goal this year, as in past years, is to partner with Union Memorial UMC to collect as many books as we can and donate them to Pierre Laclede School! The books we collect should either be written by African Americans or written for African American students. The students are elementary and middle schoolers, and they especially need books for the older boys. The collection has started and will continue to the end of February.
State of the Church will be on Saturday, February 3, 10am. This will give the year-end updates on ministry and finance and look ahead to goals for 2024.
Souper Bowl on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 11! This is a fundraiser for our youth, so bring your soup or chili and have a good time eating and showing your support for our awesome youth group!
Ash Wednesday falls on Valentine’s Day this year, Feb. 14. I can think of no better way to express our love to the Lord and to receive His love back than by the celebration of ashes being imposed on our foreheads. A visible reminder of our humility and Jesus’ great love for us. We will have service at 6:00pm, and possibly a time during the day for the imposition as well.
Women’s Gathering This year we will once again gather as a community of women for the IF:Gathering women’s conference! It will be Friday evening, February 23, and Saturday, February 24. Spirit-filled worship, engaging speakers, and a little sister-time are on the agenda. Registration is $15 and college students are free! Click here to register: https://watch.if2024.com/register/join-group/?groupid=3346
Vision for 2024:
A House United:
Strong Faith, Strong Families, Strong Future!